Governors Awards Film Series

In celebration of Honorary Award recipient Dick Smith, we presented his groundbreaking makeup designs in

"The Exorcist" (1973)

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With honoree Dick Smith in person.

Introduced by Academy governor Leonard Engelman.

With remarks from special guests seven-time Makeup Oscar winner Rick Baker and two-time Visual Effects Oscar nominee Alec Gillis.

Robert De Niro’s Mohawk in "Taxi Driver," Marlon Brando’s jowls in "The Godfather," F. Murray Abraham’s deterioration in "Amadeus" and Linda Blair’s satanic transformation in "The Exorcist" all have one artistic hand in common: that of the makeup effects master, Dick Smith. 

Smith’s creation of new makeup techniques throughout his career transformed the art of motion picture makeup. Moreover, his work inspired a new generation of makeup and visual effects artists who have embraced him as a true visionary and mentor. Smith’s work on the "Old Salieri" makeup for "Amadeus" earned him an Oscar, and he received another nomination for his work on "Dad" (1989).

His work on "The Exorcist" came before the Academy established the makeup category in 1981; nonetheless, it was definitely a career milestone and continues to inspire.

The Honorary Award, an Oscar statuette, is given to an individual for "extraordinary distinction in lifetime achievement, exceptional contributions to the state of motion picture arts and sciences, or for outstanding service to the Academy." Smith, along with Honorary Award recipient James Earl Jones and Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award recipient Oprah Winfrey, was honored at the 3rd annual Governors Awards ceremony this month.

"The Exorcist," directed by William Friedkin, received 10 Oscar nominations, including Best Picture. Newly restored digital version courtesy of Warner Bros. Running time: 132 minutes (director’s cut).

Event Information

November 9, 2011
Samuel Goldwyn Theater
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